A PhD project by Ms Charlotte Coombs and supervised by Dr Peter Watt, Associate Professor and Anna Guildford has demonstrated the positive effect of exercise and its intensity on the regenerative capacity of mesenchymal stem cells, affecting their growth, proliferation and differentiation. These data sets will form the basis for a novel approach to understanding the effects of exercise in health benefits and recovery from injury.
The work is also linked to the collaboration with Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club to assess stem cell and inflammatory cell mobilisation in players throughout the football season and during periods of rest or training.
Exercise is considered to be beneficial and health promoting, the American College for Sports Medicine considers that exercise=medicine. The benefits to disease prevention (e.g. cardiovascular disease), improved physical activity, function and sports performance are well documented. Some recent evidence suggests that exercise and physical activity may act in ways, other than the well recognised improvements in cardiovascular function, muscle strength and endurance capacity, to promote the activation, mobilisation, and differentiation of various types of stem cells (1-3). There is potential to use the effects of exercise in generating such types of cells to improve organ regeneration, function and perhaps delay degenerative conditions.
This project will aim to develop a better understanding of the consequences of exercise, training and overtraining on the recruitment and the subsequent fate of such cells. We aim to use established methods for applying exercise stimuli to evoke stem cell recruitment and to measure their destiny, as a cell type, and the influence of exercise on the processes.